VIDEO Divine Immunization

And now abide faith, hope, love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Scientists at Northwestern University are warning us to beware of another possible coronavirus pandemic in 2028. Prior to last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, a global infectious outbreak had not occurred since 1918. But researchers suggest that new coronavirus strains tend to emerge every seven years. The Northwestern scientists are already working with chemists to design new treatments for new threats, and they hope the world will be ready.

In the days of the pharaohs, the Lord struck Egypt with a series of plagues. Not all of those involved physical disease, but some did. Likewise, the word “plague(s)” occurs a dozen times in the book of Revelation. In Matthew 24:7, Jesus warned that “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes” would characterize the Last Days.

We never know when another pandemic will strike or when medical emergencies will arise. But when we are safely sheltered in the arms of God, we should never live in fear. God has three prescriptions to protect us from whatever is in the air. They are faith, hope, and love—and they immunize our hearts against all the diseases of the soul.

Nothing is outside our heavenly Father’s control, and we can trust his hand, even when we cannot see his face. Timothy Paul Jones


The Greatest of These, 1 Corinthians 13:13 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Helping Each Other

Always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 1 Thessalonians 5:15

When playing basketball with her girlfriends, Amber realized her community could benefit from an all-female league. So she started a nonprofit organization to foster teamwork and impact the next generation. The leaders of Ladies Who Hoop strive to build confidence and character in the women and girls and encourage them to become meaningful contributors to their local communities. One of the original players who now mentors other girls said, “There is so much camaraderie among us. This is something I’d been missing. We support each other in so many different ways. I love seeing the girls succeed and grow.”

God intends His people to team up to help each other as well. The apostle Paul urged the Thessalonians to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). God has put us into the family of His people for support in our lives. We need each other to keep walking the path of life in Christ. Sometimes that may mean listening to someone who’s struggling, providing for a practical need, or speaking a few words of encouragement. We can celebrate successes, offer a prayer for strength in a difficulty, or challenge each other to grow in faith. And in everything, we can “always strive to do what is good for each other” (v. 15).

What camaraderie we can enjoy as we team up with other believers in Jesus to keep trusting God together!

By:  Anne Cetas

Reflect & Pray

In what ways have others encouraged you? How can you prepare yourself to receive and give support to others?

I love being a part of Your family, God. Show me how I can have a part in the lives of others

The Danger of Ignoring the Word

Psalm 119:33-40

Putting together a toy or a piece of furniture rarely goes as smoothly as expected. This is especially true if we don’t read the instructions. Perhaps they’re too long or difficult to understand, so we ignore them. Then we wonder why the project doesn’t turn out right.

This is how many believers live the Christian life. They try to figure it out without referring to God’s Word. The Bible is too long, they think, and it would take years to gain a basic understanding of the contents; there just isn’t enough time to read it. Furthermore, it strikes them as complicated and difficult to understand.

But ignoring the Word of God is dangerous. When we stop reading Scripture and applying its principles, we don’t just stand still; we actually start drifting away from God. Peter tells us to long for the Word so we may grow in respect to our salvation (1 Pet. 2:2). And don’t forget, the indwelling Holy Spirit will bring understanding.

If your desire is to glorify God and overcome worries, fears, and sin, then Scripture must be your priority. Reading, studying, and applying the Word may require sacrifices, but the reward of knowing your Savior better and living a life pleasing to God is worth it.

Hastening His Coming

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

These very familiar words of the Lord Jesus are commonly considered as a statement of His Great Commission, commanding us to go “into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Actually, however, it is not given here as a command but rather as a declarative statement—indeed, a prophecy—saying that we shall witness for Him to the very ends of the earth.

Then, His disciples were promised that “this same Jesus” would return (Acts 1:11), with the promise clearly tied to the prophecy. Just a few weeks previously they had asked, “What shall be the sign of thy coming?” (Matthew 24:3). And Jesus had answered, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (v. 14). Mark recorded His answer very simply: “The gospel must first be published among all nations” (Mark 13:10).

Peter says that the Lord may seem to have delayed “the promise of his coming” because He “is longsuffering…not willing that any should perish,” urging us to “account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (2 Peter 3:4, 9, 15), suggesting that we should be “looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12).

We can hardly draw any other conclusion from such passages than that if we want the Lord to return quickly, we can hasten His coming by fulfilling His command and His prophecy, doing whatever we can to publish His gospel among all nations. His coming has always been imminent because this could well have been done—and can be done—at any time. But it evidently has not been done yet. HMM

With All My Heart

Khet

The Lord is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words. I have sought Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise. I thought about my ways and turned my steps back to Your decrees. I hurried, not hesitating to keep Your commands. Though the ropes of the wicked were wrapped around me, I did not forget Your law. I rise at midnight to thank You for Your righteous judgments. I am a friend to all who fear You, to those who keep Your precepts. Lord, the earth is filled with Your faithful love; teach me Your statutes (Psalm 119 vv. 57-64).

I remember my high school days, when under pressure to produce and perform, I wanted to be left alone. The result was an unfulfilled inner life, a personal emptiness, and a passionless Christianity. I followed at a distance because there was little delight and joy in my relationship with the Lord.

This psalmist is committed, dedicated, passionately involved. I have sought Your favor with all my heart” (v. 58), he declares. Nothing lackadaisical about this man’s approach to Bible study! In fact, we’d say that this person is “on fire for the Lord.” So strong is his devotion that even if the wicked were to bind him with ropes, he will not forget the law (v. 61).

Not only does he make all kinds of declarations about what he plans to do in the future, but he already has put feet to his intentions. He takes stock of his actions and chooses to follow God’s law (v. 59). He prays, giving thanks for the good guidance of God’s Word (v. 62). He befriends fellow believers who share his love and reverence for the Lord (v. 63).

Where is this level of commitment and dedication today? Which of us, living in the midst of a secular society, gives this kind of intense devotion and concentration to spiritual matters? We wake in the middle of the night, besieged with worries and anxieties. The psalmist wakes up and praises the Lord with all his heart!

Personal Prayer

O Lord, help me to seek your face with all my heart!

For the Sake of Christ

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. Ephesians 4:32

We experience divine forgiveness for our sins only as we extend forgiveness to those who have offended us.

This cuts deep.

Perhaps you might be saying at this moment, “But I can’t forgive; I have been hurt too deeply.” Then, may I say it very tenderly, but very solemnly, you can never, never be forgiven. “But if you don’t forgive people,” says Jesus, “your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing” (Mt 6:15). In refusing to forgive others you break the bridge over which you yourself must pass.

A man once said to me: “I know I’m a Christian, but someone did such an awful thing to me that I find I can’t forgive him.” After spending a good deal of time with him, and getting nowhere, I said: “If it is really true that you can’t forgive this person, it suggests that you yourself have not been forgiven, and you may be deluding yourself that you are a Christian.” He looked at me aghast and went white in the face. My counseling methods are not always as abrupt as that; however, this brought him face to face with reality—and it worked. He got down on his knees, right where he was, and said: “Father, because You have forgiven me, I offer Your forgiveness and my forgiveness to my brother who has offended me, and I absolve him of his offense in Jesus’ name.” Then what happened? Instantly the joy of the Lord streamed right into the center of his being, and he laughed and laughed, literally, for almost an hour.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You who forgave those who spat in Your face and nailed You to a cross, help me to open my heart now and forgive all those who have hurt me. I do it in Your strength and power. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Further Study

Mt 18:21-35; 5:7; Lk 6:36; Pr 3:3

How does this parable apply to us?

What is the basis of forgiving others?

Too Fast for Me!

Hebrews 13:8

In the early 19th century, railroads ran at what were considered dangerous speeds. After all, God never intended people to travel at 10 miles per hour!

Over the years life has accelerated to keep pace with transportation. In 1947 Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. Today military fighter planes fly at three times the speed of sound.

The year 1996 marked the 50th anniversary of the ENIAC computer. It was the size of a grade school gym and used enough electricity to light a major U.S. city. Now computers are sub-notebook in size. The computer you bought yesterday may become obsolete before the warranty expires.

Some industry experts calculate that computer performance and power will double every 18 months. If so, the one I am using now will soon be as antiquated as a quill pen.

Life is whizzing by at 100 megahertz (and then some) every minute of every day. Just yesterday we saw our kids watching “Sesame Street.” Now we are wondering, “How can we pay for college?” Where did the time go?

If you feel things are speeding faster than you can control, you are right. Even when we are sitting still, the earth is zipping along on its solar orbit going 66,000 miles per hour.

Technology is not the only thing that is speeding ahead at a reckless pace. In terms of personal and spiritual ethics, things that used to be clearly right and clearly wrong are now relative and open to individual interpretation. Right is wrong and wrong right in many cases.

Is there something or someone in the entire world that is stable, solid and worthy of my trust that won’t be obsolete in the near future? Yes! Scripture reminds us that the grace of God is eternal, secure and unchanging. It is never out of fashion. It never spoils or fades. It doesn’t come with an expiration date.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Those who know Jesus as their personal Savior from sin can count on His grace never changing. He is as powerful for their needs as He has been throughout generations.

A. Kenneth Wilson, The War Cry